Wednesday, March 20, 2019

That "Right-wing" accusation again

When a domestic terrorist strikes, the media automatically label him "Right wing".  That usually implodes.  Take the Jared Loughner case.  Remember him?  He started out as "Right-wing" after he shot a Democrat Congresswoman but suddently one day he just faded from notice. We never hear of him now.  It turned out that he was floridly mentally ill, though his reading included Leftist materials such as the Communist Manifesto.

And so it seems is the NZ gunman Brenton Tarrant.  Tarrant definitely shared the sort of disquiet about Muslim behaviour that conservstive writers often express but does that make him conservative or Right wing?  Is it only conservatives who are critical of Jihadi attacks?

The entire Left wing worldwide is asserting Tarrant's Rightism but what does Tarrant himself say?  He says in his manifesto: “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China”.

So an admirer of Chinese Communism is "Right wing"?  Tell us another funny story!

The fact of the matter of course is that Tarrant had a variety of ideas from a variety of sources so that putting any wings at all on him was just propaganda.


Trump complains he is being blamed for New Zealand attack

US President Donald Trump waded into the controversy over his response to the massacre of 50 people in two New Zealand mosques.

President Donald Trump waded into the controversy over his response to the massacre of 50 people in two New Zealand mosques, complaining that he was being blamed for the tragedy.

“The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand,” Mr Trump told his more than 59 million followers on Twitter. “They will have to work very hard to prove that one,” he tweeted. “So Ridiculous!”

Mr Trump appeared to be referring to criticism of his response to the attack, which was allegedly carried out by a 28-year-old white supremacist claiming to be resisting genocide against white people.

In a lengthy written rant, the alleged killer Brenton Tarrant referred to Mr Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity.”

Mr Trump did on several occasions tweet and speak to condemn the “horrible” attack and offer any US assistance to New Zealand’s authorities.

However, he courted controversy on Saturday when he played down the wider implications of the gunman’s ideology, saying that violent white nationalism is not a growing problem. “It’s a small group of people,” he said.

Mr Trump, whose own previous responses to the movement have drawn scrutiny, expressed sympathy for the victims who died at “places of worship turned into scenes of evil killing.” But he declined to join expressions of mounting concern about white nationalism, saying “I don’t, really” when asked whether he thought it was a rising threat around the world.

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess,” Mr Trump said.

Speaking on Fox and Friends, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said it was “predictable” and “outrageous” that Mr Trump had been linked with the shooter.

“Unlike like most mass shootings, this man came with pre-receipts, if you will,” Conway said. “He put out a 70-page manifesto, and I guess everybody scoured it, searched for Donald Trump’s name, and there it is, one time.

“But he also said he aligns closely with the ideology of China. He said he’s not a conservative, he’s not a Nazi, I think he referred to himself as an eco-naturalist or an eco-fascist. But people should read the entire — in its entirety.”

Mr Trump’s homeland security chief, Kirstjen Nielsen, said on Monday in a speech where she said that “domestic terrorists,” like the New Zealand killer, increasingly resemble the better known threat from Islamist groups.

“The primary terrorist threat to the United States continues to be from Islamist militants and those they inspire, but we should not and cannot and must not ignore the real and serious danger posed by domestic terrorists,” she said.

“They are using the same do-it-yourself, mass murder tactics as we saw with the horrible assault last week in New Zealand against Muslim worshippers,” she said.

Mr Trump’s dismissal of a broader security threat led to a flurry of criticism from Democrats and other critics over the weekend.

They pointed to his frequent labelling of illegal immigrants as invaders, his high-profile restrictions on immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, and a lukewarm condemnation of a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

“Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists - and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them. This isn’t normal or acceptable,” tweeted Kirsten Gillibrand, who formally entered the Democratic race for the White House on Sunday.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney went on television on Sunday to push back, saying “the president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”

“To simply ask the question every time something like this happens overseas, or even domestically, to say, ‘Oh, my goodness, it must somehow be the president’s fault,’ speaks to a politicisation of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions that we have in the country today,” he said on Fox television.



Trump Blasts GM For Closing Assembly Plants: “She blamed the UAW Union – I don’t care, I just want it open!”

Sounds like it is the UAW Trump should be targeting.  It is their high labor costs that push work aboard

President Donald Trump continued excoriating General Motors on Monday, for closing an automotive plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Breitbart reports:

“Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now,” Trump said. “Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!”

The president also expressed frustration that “talks” between General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union would begin in September or October.

“Why wait, start them now!” he wrote. “I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!”

Trump began attacking General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Sunday for closing down the plant at a time when the American economy was booming.

His posts on Twitter earned a phone call from Barra over the weekend.

“I asked her to sell it or do something quickly,” Trump revealed. “She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!”

The Lordstown, Ohio plant employed about 1,500 American workers and produced the Chevrolet Cruze before it closed. General Motors announced plans in November 2018 to lay off up to 14,700 workers in North America.

In June, General Motors announced that the revamped Chevrolet Blazer would be produced in Mexico, as the company employs about 15,000 people there. In December, they announced a new plant opening up in China.

Barra and Trump initially had a good relationship as she joined him for meetings and roundtables promoting the U.S. auto industry.

But GM’s continued layoffs raised tensions between the president and the CEO of General Motors, who was once considered a possible Vice President candidate by failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland,” Trump wrote in November 2018. “Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!”



Democrats are pushing the biggest tax increase you've never heard of

Joseph Semprevivo

House Democrats are currently pushing the biggest tax increase that nobody's heard of.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., along with more than 200 Democratic cosponsors, recently introduced the Social Security 2100 Act. The legislation would raise the effective payroll tax rate by 2.4 percentage points, split between employer and employee, to 14.8 percent. And this tax increase would apply to all earned income.

At a Capitol Hill hearing this week, I testified about how this tax increase would hurt workers, entrepreneurship, and small businesses like mine.

Larson’s plan would increase small businesses’ annual payroll tax burden per employee earning $50,000 per year by $600, to $3,700. While the plan calls for a donut hole exemption between the current payroll tax cap of $132,900 and $400,000 of earnings, this ceiling is not indexed to inflation, meaning that within a couple of decades all employees, no matter their income, would be subject to it. Eventually, for an employee earning $200,000 a year, a business like mine would have to pay $2,400 more in payroll tax than we do today.

Consider the impact on a business employing 50 people at an average annual salary of $50,000. This tax increase would raise the business portion of payroll tax costs by $30,000, to $185,000. That increase amounts to the cost of hiring one new entry-level employee or giving significant wage increases to existing employees.

Businesses would fund such a tax increases by holding off on hiring or reducing employee wages. It would undo the benefits of the tax cuts that took effect last year and are allowing small businesses like mine to hire, raise wages, and expand.

This payroll tax increase would also directly tax wage increases. This is a peculiar public policy strategy, given the bipartisan push to increase the wages of ordinary Americans. Every time I consider raising an employee’s wages, I would have to factor in the increased costs of this associated payroll tax hike to see if the potential pay raise still makes financial sense.

For some small business owners who operate on tiny profit margins, this tax increase will put them out of business. Consider the restaurant industry, where profit margins pivot around 3 percent. Labor makes up about one-third of their total expenses. To raise restaurants' labor costs by 1.2 percentage points is enough to put some of them out of business altogether.

This proposed tax increase would hurt my employees as much as it would hurt me and other small business owners. For many employees, the payroll tax is the biggest tax burden they face. Raising the payroll tax burden to 7.4 percent will push some workers into poverty. It will prevent other workers from having the funds to make their car or housing payments. It will prevent others from having the funds to take a vacation.

Particularly negatively affected by this tax increase would be sole proprietors, including Uber and Lyft drivers, realtors, and insurance agents — people who, working independently, make up the vast majority of small businesses in this country. Sole proprietors must pay both the employer and employee sides of the payroll tax. This means that a sole-proprietor earning $100,000 would have to pay nearly $15,000 in payroll tax in addition to their federal and state liabilities under this tax proposal, an increase of $2,400 from the current tax regime.

This tax increase would hurt entrepreneurship rates as workers will be disincentivized from striking out on their own in the face of a nearly 15 percent flat payroll tax on their earnings. This is a worrying prospect, given the important role that entrepreneurship plays in job creation, standards of living, and economic growth. I don’t know whether I would have started my business if I had to pay 15 cents in payroll taxes on every dollar I earned.

Competing testimony was offered by the AARP, which supports boosting Social Security payments. As Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., indicated at the hearing, while we have to keep our commitment to seniors, we also need to keep our commitment to young people by giving them more economic opportunities, opportunities that this tax hike would curtail.

Another witness was Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who leads a group called Global Policy Solutions. According to its website, Ms. Cummings has experience "spanning federal, state and local government, academia, think tanks, and nonprofit organizations." Yet, at the hearing she described herself as a small business "expert."

Aside from me, there were no small business owners or ordinary American workers testifying. I would encourage the committee and all politicians to get out and ask these people about whether they want a tax increase before moving forward with Larson's bill. I think people will tell them that they are taxed enough already.



IT’S OFFICIAL: Steele Admits To Using COMPLETELY Unverified Reports To Write Trump Dossier

For the past two years, President Trump has been claiming that the Steele Dossier, which attempts to portray President Trump as someone who colluded with Russia, is totally phony and fake. Recent revelations show that President Trump was absolutely correct.

Earlier this week, transcripts were released that show that Steele admitted to using an unverified 2009 iReport on CNN’s website. An iReport is where any member of the public can go onto CNN’s site and report information. Steele claims that he had no clue that the CNN report he used was unverified and posted by a random person.

CNN described this iReport section of their website by saying, “ is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”

In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

During his deposition, Steele was pressed on the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, which was thought to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.

Steele was asked about anything relating to the allegations made relating to Webzilla which he responded by saying, “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”

It appeared that Steele had no clue how the iReport website worked.”I do not have any particular knowledge of that.” Steele said.

He was then asked if he understood that content generated on the iReport site was not created by CNN reporters, which he responded by saying, “I do not.” He was then asked: “Do you understand that they have no connection to any CNN reporters?” Steele replied, “I do not.”

The questioning continued: “Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” Steele replied: “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may has some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”

One of the most important pieces of the transcript came when Steele was asked about the process by which he searched for an obtained the information. The ex-British spy described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”

Continuing, Steele then admitted that the unverified dossier contained “raw intelligence” which means the evidence that was collected could be totally false or misleading.

There you have it. The man who created the Trump Russia Dossier has admitted that the evidence he collected is NOT verified and could easily be untrue.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

CNN Spends Entire Segment Blaming TRUMP For New Zealand Attacks

Just when you thought that CNN had hit rock bottom they continue to drill deeper by the day.

The network hasn’t been as fixated on an event in the southern hemisphere since Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 went missing and they are exploiting the rampage of a deranged terrorist at two New Zealand mosques for maximum impact in their war on President Trump.

Never mind having the common decency to wait until the victims of the unthinkable slaughter in Christchurch were buried and their grieving families be given time to mourn the loss of their loved ones, the fanatics at what can best be described as a propagandistic hate factory are busily brainwashing gullible suckers that it is all Trump’s fault.

The nadir was on Friday during a segment with the nasty little race-baiter Don Lemon and warmongering lunatic Max Boot who are both foaming at the mouth Trump haters.

It wasn’t only Boot and Lemon either: EVERYONE at the fake news command center got the memo on this one.

CNN’s ace “journalist” Jake Tapper also hosted a panel with the ubiquitious bloodthirsty neocon Bill Kristol and unhinged race-obsessed Symone Sanders to hammer the message that Trump and his supporters are all white nationalists which will only serve to incite the extremists and socialists on the left who are already assaulting people in red MAGA hats on a regular basis.

The CNN reporter compared the language in the manifesto of the alleged gunman in the New Zealand mosque shootings to that used by Donald Trump.

Fox’s Greg Gutfield summed it up: "The NZ terrorist stated his aim plainly: to sow division in the US so intense that it results in violent conflict.  Sad to see so many in media breathlessly indulging him. Stop. Step away. See that you're being played."

These days one has to wonder whether the North Korean media is less propagandistic than the network which is the equivalent of Deep State-run media.

The terrorist who just murdered all of those innocent people has to be overjoyed at how CNN is acting as his public relations firm and it doesn’t cost him a dime.

As former President George W. Bush once famously said, “You are either with us, or with the terrorists” and is comes as no big shock as to whom CNN is lining up with.



Leftism Eradicates Character

Dennis Prager

Every year, many thousands of American parents find that the son or daughter they sent to college has been transformed by college into a leftist. For left-wing parents, this may be a blessing, but for parents who are not leftist—not to mention conservative—it is often painfully jolting.

It is jolting because their beloved child now holds America in contempt; prefers socialism to capitalism; regards all white people and police as racist; believes the Bible, Christianity, and Judaism are not only nonsense, but dangerous nonsense; no longer believes men and women are inherently different—or even that male and female objectively exist; is disinterested in getting married and having children; believes the president of the United States is a fascist—as are all those who voted for him; and supports the suppression of speech that he or she regards as “hate speech.”

While this is music to the ears of left-wing parents, most traditionally liberal parents will not be all that happy with this transformation.

Unlike leftists, most liberals do love America and think that, despite its flaws, it is worthy of respect. They do not believe male and female are subjective categories, and they believe in free speech—even for “hate speech.”

For conservative parents, the transformation is far worse. “Nightmare” is not too strong a description. Not only does their child hold everything they cherish in contempt, their child, who loved and respected them a year or two before, now holds them in contempt.

It is a nightmare for another reason: Young people who are transformed into leftists almost always become less kind, less happy, and more angry.

It’s hard to imagine the opposite could occur—that is, that a young person could buy into all the left-wing views described above and become a sweeter human being.

It is a sad rule of life that whatever the left touches, it ruins; music, art, literature, religion, late-night TV, the Academy Awards, sports, economies, the family structure, the Boy Scouts, and race relations are just a few examples. It also ruins people—their character and their happiness.

How could it not?

One of the prerequisites of good character—as well as of happiness—is gratitude, and leftism is rooted in ingratitude. If you are grateful to be an American, you are, by definition, not a leftist.

If you are, for example, a black who is grateful to be an American, you are a “traitor to your race,” an “Uncle Tom.”

If you are a woman who is grateful to be an American, you are a “traitor to your gender.” Feminist icon Gloria Steinem once called female Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison a “female impersonator” because a real woman cannot be a conservative.

In addition, the left drills into every nonwhite and every woman the idea that they are victims, and people who see themselves as victims are ungrateful and angry, two traits that always make a person meaner.

Every parent whose child came home from college (or, increasingly, high school) a leftist should be asked: “Is your daughter or son happier as a result of becoming a leftist? Is he or she kinder? More tolerant? More respectful?”

So it is not only institutions that the left ruins, but also the character of its adherents.

Where are the prominent conservative equivalents of Robert De Niro shouting “F— Trump” at awards ceremonies?

Of Sarah Silverman tweeting to the president of the United States: “I’m just gonna go with F— YOU, and also add that you are a smelly penis hole with balls that touch water. Eat s—, you greedy t—“?

Of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., telling supporters, among whom were children, “We’re gonna impeach the motherf—er”?

Every American should watch how a group of 10-year-old girls recently treated 85-year-old California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Being indoctrinated into leftism apparently permitted them to treat a U.S. senator, not to mention a woman 75 years older than them, with contempt.

It is inconceivable that a group of 10-year-old conservative kids, accompanied by their teachers, would ever treat an 85-year-old, senator or not, so condescendingly.

When you send your child to college, you are not only playing Russian roulette with their values. You are playing Russian roulette with their character and the way they will treat you.

Left-wing parents do not have a similar worry. If their child somehow returns home from college a Christian or a religious Jew, not only will they not be treated with contempt, they will probably be treated with even more respect than before.

Leftism makes you worse. Judeo-Christian religions make you better. That might not be the fashionable view, but it just happens to be true.



Trump Backs Fox News Hosts: ‘Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro’

President Trump on Sunday defended Fox News hosts, warning that the Democrats and the “Fake News” media are trying to silence a majority of the country through a campaign against the network’s conservative hosts.

"Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well. Fox ....."

The Hill reports,

“The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well,” he tweeted.

Trump specifically named Jeanine Pirro, host of “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” calling for Fox to “bring back @JudgeJeanine.” Pirro’s Fox News show did not air on Saturday night.

Last week, Fox News condemned remarks made by Pirro after the host on air questioned whether Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is loyal to Sharia because she wears a hijab.

“We’re not commenting on internal scheduling matters,” a Fox News spokesperson told The Hill of Pirro’s show being preempted.

Several advertisers pulled their ads from Pirro’s show last week in the wake of the Omar controversy. Tucker Carlson, host of Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” also lost advertisers after a left-leaning blog resurfaced comments he made during appearances on a radio show between 2006 and 2011.



Activists Blame Chelsea Clinton For New Zealand Massacre

Chelsea Clinton is to blame for the crazed attacker that killed at least 49 mosque-goers in New Zealand on Friday.

The former first daughter was confronted by activists tonight at a memorial service at NYU for the victims.

A video was posted to Twitter — which would likely qualify as a violation of Twitter rules — showing Clinton calmly defending herself amid the hostile accusations.

“A lot of students feel uncomfortable. People haven’t forgotten the Islamophobic mob she incited against @IlhanMN. There is no sense of responsibility,” Esor said in the tweet that is now protected.

The video shows Clinton being accused of being responsible for the attack.

“I am so sorry you feel that way,” Clinton responded, “it was certainly never my intention. I do believe words matter,” she said in apparent reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s repeated anti-Semitic comments.

“This right here,” the activist said, waving her arms wildly, “is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words you put out there,” she said, “And I want you to know that,” the woman lectured, “and I want you to feel that deep inside.”

“Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,” the woman said, poking her finger towards Clinton as her backers snapped in approval.

“I’m so sorry you feel that way,” Clinton responded.

In February, Chelsea tweeted a response to one of Omar’s anti-Semitic statements.

"Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism."

That is apparently what triggered the NYU confrontation.



AG Bill Barr: “Your Declaration of Border Emergency is CLEARLY Authorized

President Trump signed his first presidential veto on Friday in the Oval office.  The Gateway Pundits reports,

Several Border Angel parents joined President Trump during the signing to kill the congressional bill blocking the president’s emergency declaration.

Despite the tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing into America each month, the tons of illegal narcotics and strain on the US economy Democrats and 12 turncoat Republicans voted to kill the president’s emergency declaration.

On Friday Attorney General Bill Barr sided with President Trump. Barr said the president “absolutely has the right to declare a national emergency on the southern border there. He says the veto is the right thing to do. And the declaration will hold up in a court of law.

AG Bill Barr: Mr. President your declaration of an emergency on the southern border was clearly authorized under the law and consistent with past precedent… The humanitarian and security crisis that we currently have right now on the border is exactly the type of emergency that presidents are permitted to address.



To win on White House budget, Trump must wield his veto pen

President Trump released his third White House budget proposal today, and kudos to his acting budget director Russ Vought for crafting a plan that promotes fiscal restraint. Under this budget request, hundreds of wasteful programs will be eliminated and every domestic agency will be required to make a 5 percent cutback in spending. This budget blueprint includes $2.7 trillion in government spending cuts over the next decade.

Vought has told me, “No other administration has proposed this level of spending reductions.” Not even Ronald Reagan. The problem is Trump is already facing a stone wall of resistance to his budget priorities. Even before the budget was officially released, Democratic Representative John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said over the weekend that the Trump budget plan has “no chance in the House.” Why? He claimed that the budget contains “severe cuts in essential programs.”

Here we go again. This is exactly what Reagan faced in the 1980s when then Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill declared his conservative budgets “dead on arrival.” The Democrats repelled most of the spending cuts that Gipper proposed, and then blamed him for the deficit spending. Congress ended up outspending the Reagan budget requests every year.

For Trump to make progress on trimming deficit spending as this latest plan foresees, the president needs two things to happen. Trump needs continued solid growth of 3 percent or more as we had in 2018. Growth is everything when it comes to bringing revenues up and deficits down. Even with the tax cuts, federal revenues in 2018 came in matching the highest year for tax collections in our history. Vought is right when he concluded, “We don’t have a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem.”

Trump will have to enforce this latest budget with steely resolve. So far he has used the veto pen sparingly. Now he must recognize that it is his best weapon to prevent a dangerous fiscal situation. His first two budgets were almost completely ignored by a Republican Congress. (Excessive pork spending is a bipartisan problem on Capitol Hill.) House Republicans, outside the Freedom Caucus, showed no interest in curbing spending.

But now Trump faces House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose Democratic caucus wants free everything. House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters said this weekend that she is committed to increasing the budget on social programs and reversing the few cuts that Trump has already made. The only idea for paying for the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage, Social Security benefit hikes, free college tuition, and the like are by repealing the Republican tax cuts. First, that is not going to happen. Second, this would only pay for a sliver of the cost.

The most powerful tool Trump has over legislation is the veto. He needs to use it often in the months ahead for his agenda. Trump should declare that if spending bills come in even a dime over his new budget totals, he will veto each and every one. The budget crafted by Vought is a powerful fiscal marker that must be enforced. This is his best tool for controlling federal spending, and presidents have historically used it to great effect.

Powerful presidents have used the veto power to assert their control over Congress. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt used it routinely to repel overspending. Grover Cleveland, an underrated president, vetoed more than 1,000 special interest spending bills. Reagan was reluctant to veto in his first term, and preferred to play nice with Congress. Once he finally realized that did not work with Democrats, he started vetoing regularly, which helped cut the deficit as a share of gross domestic product in half. The veto power is a sign of strength and confidence.

Trump can also gain credibility with voters on the deficit by vetoing early and often under the Pelosi reign of power. The Democrats cannot at once attack Trump for vetoing obese spending bills, and then hypocritically blame soaring deficits on him. The veto will allow Trump to define for voters the extent of the coming Pelosi spree. If he does not do this, his sensible federal budget plan will not be taken seriously. It will be wheeled off to the intensive care unit. House Democrats and Senate Republicans will serve a banquet of spending all paid for with debt and tax increases.

The president has unveiled a first class budget for our government. It is fiscally conservative and supports more economic growth, while wisely prioritizing spending on the most critical problems of national security, border control, opioid epidemic, and infrastructure modernization. Now Trump can enforce it with his veto pen. That is the art of the budget deal.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Monday, March 18, 2019

Fact-checking Trump's notion that white nationalism is not a rising threat

Having enemies seems to be a good political tactic.  It can mobilize your base.  It is a tactic much used by the Left.  They exaggerate even the slightest opposition to their schemes -- and anything untowards happening in the world is due to bad men whom they know all about.  And a favourite mythical beast that they are fighting is "white nationalists" or a "white supremacists".  Anybody who mentions any human group can be declared a "white supremacist" at the drop of a hat.  And often you don't even need to drop the hat.

So anybody who is critical of the doings of any Muslim becomes an "Islamophobe" for starters and he doesn't have to say much more to become a "white supremacist".

No doubt there are some real white supremacists about the place.  Some people believe that the earth is flat.  But do they exist in any numbers?  There is no evidence of it.  There are some people who attack minorities from time to time but none of them seems to be part of any organization or even have many friends.  And why would anybody be bothered to proclaim white supremacy when it is perfectly obvious that whites do have overwhelming influence in the world?  You might as well go around making proclamations that that the sky is blue.

So Mr Trump was right when he said recently of white nationalists that "I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems"

But that could not be allowed to pass, of course.  And CNN did a "fact check" of what Trump said.  It is below.  And they do list a number of individuals whom they allege to be white supremacists -- but at no point do they make the slightest effort to show that any of the individuals concerned were in fact white supremacists.  If they were truly white supremacists a sentence or two from each of them confirming that they were white supremacists would have given the needed confirmation.

But no such evidence is given,  We are expected to accept the assertions of CNN as all the evidence we need.

Just to illustrate how quickly they would become unglued if they tried to back up their assertions, just consider the man of the hour, the NZ gunman.  Every leftist alive would fervently assure us that he is a white supremacist despite that fact that many of his targets were a passable shade of white.  Does that upset the applecart at all?  If it doesn't, try this:  The person whom the gunman stated was the greatest influence on him was Candace Owens.  Candace is an American black.  So is the gunman a black supremacist?  In the insane world of the Left, he might as well be.

On my reading of his manifesto he is principally concerned about the large influx of foreigners into European-origin countries.  He identifies with white Europeans and sees himself as conducting a defensive operation.  He is not asserting the dominance or superiority of white Europeans but simply wants them not to fade away under immigration pressures.  He says that wherever he goes he sees invaders and that disturbs him.  So he is certainly a racist of sorts but not a white supremacist.

Is he a white nationalist?  Maybe but that depends on your definition of nationalism.  On Orwell's definition he is not, as he shows no interest in conquering other countries

So Mr Trump again gets it right.  Even the NZ gunman is arguably not a white nationalist.  He is in fact something of an internationalist.  His concern is for the survival of European civilization as a whole

During a press conference Friday, President Donald Trump was asked if he "see(s) today that white nationalism is a rising threat around the world?" in the wake of the terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, which left at least 50 dead.

"I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess," the President said. "If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case, I don't know enough about it yet. They're just learning about the person and the people involved. But it's certainly a terrible thing."

The man charged with murder in the New Zealand attack cited a list of white nationalists who inspired him in his putative manifesto posted online.

Facts First: White nationalism is certainly a rising threat in the US, with plenty of evidence to back it up.

In the past two years there have been a number of high profile incidents involving white nationalists, perhaps most notably the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. One woman was killed and 19 were injured when a speeding car slammed into a throng of counter-protesters.

Last year's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh claimed the lives of 11 people. Federal prosecutors charged the gunman, an avowed white nationalist, with hate crimes. In February, authorities arrested a Coast Guard lieutenant, an alleged white supremacist, who was planning an attack on several television anchors and elected officials.

The data suggests these are all part of a broader rise in white nationalism across the US.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization focused on tracking extremist activity, found last year that white supremacist murders in the US "more than doubled in 2017," with far-right extremist groups and white supremacists "responsible for 59 percent of all extremist-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2017." They were responsible for 20% of these fatalities the year before.

"This attack (in New Zealand) underscores a trend that ADL has been tracking: that modern white supremacy is an international threat that knows no borders, being exported and globalized like never before," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release.

ADL also reported that propaganda efforts from white supremacist groups increased by 182% in the US in 2018; causing the number of incidents to jump from 421 the previous year to 1,187.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank based in Washington, DC, reports that "the number of terrorist attacks (in the US) by far-right perpetrators rose over the past decade, more than quadrupling between 2016 and 2017."

White nationalism, supremacism, and far-right extremist attacks and propaganda are on the rise. The President is incorrect in suggesting that these groups do not present a growing threat.

Domestic terrorism -- as a whole -- has seen a recent uptick in the US, with nearly 25 related arrests in the last three months of 2018, an FBI official told CNN. These cases are separate from plots relating to international terrorism investigations, like those involving al Qaeda and ISIS.

As CNN recently reported, the FBI has approximately 900 open domestic terror investigations.



A Republican revolt against Trump? Not so fast

This week, Senate Republicans served President Donald Trump the first two resolutions he's likely to veto -- one rescinding his national emergency declaration to build the border wall, (which he vetoed on Friday afternoon), the other on cutting assistance to the Saudis' war in Yemen.

The breaking of ranks naturally prompted speculation about GOP allegiance to Trump and whether it signals some sort of shift away from him by congressional Republicans.

Bucking the President on his signature issue is certainly a big deal. But a deeper examination of both the numbers and the politics indicates that the GOP remains firmly in Trump's grip.

If anything, given the constitutional rhetoric of elected Republicans, the President might have had a true revolt on his hands. Instead, he was given an effective slap on the wrist by a small fraction of Republican lawmakers.

Of the 250 Republicans in Congress (197 in the House, 53 in the Senate) only 10% broke ranks with the President on the national emergency resolution. After 13 Republicans in the House joined Democrats to pass the resolution last month, a dozen Republican senators ended up breaking ranks this week to send it to the President's desk. Even fewer Republicans -- just seven senators -- crossed Trump and voted Wednesday for the resolution directing the removal of US forces from Yemen without a war authorization from Congress.

This isn't the first time Trump has faced resistance from the upper chamber on issues like trade and foreign policy. But is it the beginnings of a GOP revolt?

"I think 12 is significant," said Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the RNC and a CNN contributor. "I don't think it's a watershed moment."

It's notable which Republicans were willing to vote against the President. Half of the Republican senators who voted for the emergency declaration -- which redirects funds intended for other uses to build the border wall -- sit on the Appropriations Committee. And 11 are not running for re-election and facing the threat of a primary challenge in 2020. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is unlikely to lose the GOP nomination, and Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has already announced he won't be seeking another term next year.

But what kept 90% of Republicans in the fold was the fact that this resolution would have been a rebuke of the President's signature domestic issue: the wall on the southern border.  "If this were a different issue, it would have been higher," Heye said. "But it's about the wall."

And crossing Trump may pose a significant risk for elected Republicans.



Trump’s pro-growth policies appear to be all the magic the manufacturing sector needed

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump consistently promised to revive America’s manufacturing economy.

Trump’s focus on manufacturing brought out high-profile critics who scoffed at the notion. President Obama notably said in June 2016 that manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” He said this at a time when manufacturing job growth had flatlined, falling by 31,000 from January of 2016 to when he delivered his pessimistic comments in June of that year.

While President Obama’s time in office did see job gains, even in manufacturing, it’s important to note that jobs always come back in a post-recession recovery. But comparing the nation’s most-recent economic recovery from the trough in June 2009, the pace of job growth was slower in Obama’s tenure than in any past recovery—except for the rebound from the mild eight-month recession in 2001, following the deflation of the dot-com bubble.

Much of the blame for the weak economy can be set at the feet of two failed economic policies: monetary and fiscal. From the reliance on the Federal Reserve’s easy money—$4.5 trillion of “quantitative easing"—to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) started under President Bush to Obama’s Cash For Clunkers program, the post-2009 recovery was marked by government intervention at levels not seen since the Great Depression 70 years earlier.

Furthermore, with federal regulatory activity at historic highs under President Obama, investors were scared off from making long-term commitments. As a result, much of the Federal Reserve’s easy money sat safely on the sidelines.

As the shock was settling in less than three weeks after Trump’s election, Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist and economist, said of President-elect Trump’s manufacturing jobs promises, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”

Yet last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its February jobs report. Comparing the Trump administration’s first 26 months of employment data with the last 26 months under Obama is insightful.

Both periods are considered by most economists to be in the mature stage of the business cycle. In Obama’s case, slow economic growth, especially regarding sluggish manufacturing employment, was considered the “new normal.” The national economy grew by 1.6% in 2016, Obama’s last year.

From October 2014 to December 2016, private sector employment grew by 4.2% as the unemployment rate dipped to 4.7%. In the past 26 months, private employers have grown their payrolls by 4.0% as the job market has tightened considerably, with official unemployment dropping to 3.8%.

While overall employment numbers are comparable, the difference in manufacturing is profound. In the last 26 months of Obama’s presidency, manufacturing employment grew by 96,000 or 0.8%. In Trump’s first 26 months, manufacturers added 479,000 jobs, or 3.9%, 399% more jobs than Obama’s record.

Is it any wonder that President Obama derided then-candidate Trump for needing a “magic wand” to deliver on his manufacturing jobs promise?

On the other hand, federal, state and local government jobs, many of them creators of job-stifling red tape, grew by 1.7% in Obama’s last 26 months compared to 0.8% under Trump.

In fact, over the past 26 months, there were 168% more jobs in manufacturing created than in government, while during Obama’s last 26 months, there were 303% more government jobs created than in manufacturing. This was not sustainable. Government jobs don’t pay for themselves.

And here’s where President Trump’s pro-growth policies come into play.

The current stretch in increased manufacturing employment started in November, 2016—the month of Trump’s election. Employers, especially those faced with making long-term investments in physical plants and equipment, anticipated regulatory relief under Trump.

They got the relief they hoped for.

By October 2018, the Trump Administration cut 2.7 major regulations for every one added, greatly reducing regulatory cost and risk.

In addition, the tax cuts signed into law in December 2017 not only reduced corporate tax rates, encouraging investment, they also incentivized U.S.-based multinational corporations to bring home profits held overseas.

In the first nine months of 2019, these firms repatriated $571.3 billion—money needed for job-creating investment at home, but had been held in foreign countries because America had the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.

Trump’s pro-growth policies appear to be all the magic the manufacturing sector needed .



CA Gov Touts “Safe” Border While Standing In Front Of GIANT Barrier

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson claimed late last week that there’s “no national emergency” at America’s southern border. The only problem is that he made the bizarre comment while standing behind a wall.

Last week, Newsom visited San Ysidro, California, and declared that there’s no “national emergency” at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“So we’re right here on the Mexican border, you can see the Mexican sign,” Newsom said. “We are at arguably the busiest border crossing in the United States. We are trying to highlight a different story as it relates here,” he added.

Newsom said he was trying to “highlight the economic vibrancy that is demonstrable here at the border.”

For starters, the area Newsom visited not only has one border wall, but a second one is currently being built and other physical barriers are being replaced and/or upgraded.

Secondly, the Trump administration has deployed thousands of U.S. troops to the southern border to help install additional hardening infrastructure at the port of entry — where Newsom was standing near in his video clip.

This also includes razor wire wrapped around border barriers to prevent illegal aliens from climbing the wall and jumping over into the U.S.

The area is economically vibrant and completely safe because it is now one of the safest areas on the border thanks to walls.

Without a whiff of self-awareness, Newsom stood behind a massive wall and other safety barriers — many of which have been installed and/or upgraded by the Trump administration — to claim there’s “no national emergency.” That’s almost like standing in front of a police station and declaring that there’s no crime or danger.

Trump declared a national emergency last month in order to secure billions of dollars from other agencies to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump has made it clear that his administration will keep the nation secure and safe, and maybe Democrats like Newsom should get on board and help the president.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Sunday, March 17, 2019

The New Zealand Massacre

Almost as bad as the massacre itself are the false media claims about it.  It is invariably said that the gunman was "right wing" or "far right". What in conservative thought justifies the killing of the innocents?  There is nothing. 

What we do know is that the gunman isued a manifesto that is decribed as full of Nazi ideas.  But Nazism was a socialist sect.  Conservatives -- such as Churchill -- opposed Nazism. It is nothing more than a survival of Soviet disinformation that says Nazism is rightist.  Hitler was to the right of Communism but to the left of just about everyone else.  Ever since the French revolution it is the Left who have been the mass murderers --Robespierre, Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler, Mao -- not conservatives  -- and that was again true in Christchurch.

One thing that was Leftist about the gunman even by modern standards was his identifying himself as a representative of a group -- Western whites.  He saw the Jihadi attacks on Western whites as attacks on a group that he identified with and that he wished to save. The Jihadi attacks were attacks on his people. And identity politics are a major obsession of Leftists at the moment.  They try to divide everyone into groups -- blacks, whites, homosexuals, transsexuals women etc.  And they then treat people according to their group identity.  Conservatives, by contrast, treat people primarily as individuals.

And the gunman did make it abundantly clear that his actions were  provoked by Muslim hostility towards Western whites as evidenced in the innumerable attacks on Westerners by Jihadis.  He did not act at random. He was provoked.  So those who provoked him bear at least some of the blame for what he did.  Muslims should be deeply thankful that the Jihadis who arise from among their ranks so seldom provoke a violent reaction. 

It may be however that the Christchurch massacre is the harbinger of things to come.  It may not be the last time that someone horrified by Jihadi violence decides to strike back.  If Muslims want to avoid that they should urge their Mullahs to stop preaching Jihad.  Jihadis mostly seem to strike at random so Muslims too could be struck at random.  It would be a great pity if bloody attacks on Muslims were the only thing capable of persuading Muslims to desist from attacking others.


The evils of group identity

I have alluded above to the identity obsession of the Christchurch gunman.  BRENDAN O'NEILL writes on similar lines in an email introduction to the latest edition of "Spiked", which he edits:

The barbaric racist massacre in New Zealand has shocked the world. It has also shone a light on one of the most worrying things in contemporary society: the rise and rise of communal and cultural tensions. Whether it’s the hundreds of Europeans slaughtered by Islamist terrorists in recent years or the murder of Jews by a white extremist in the US or this killing of 49 Muslims by a self-styled defender of the white race, identity-based conflict is intensifying.

It is ridiculous to blame this on President Trump’s Twitterfeed, or the right-wing media, or the tiny white-supremacist movement, as some people are doing in relation to the NZ massacre. Instead we have to dig down into the scourge of identity politics, which increasingly seems to be the only political game in town, and the way it has rehabilitated racial thinking, cultural division, and competitive grievance. Spiked’s rallying cry for the whole 18 years of its existence feels as urgent as ever: we need a humanist politics, a politics of common values, a politics of democratic engagement over communal separatism, not this relentless race into the cesspit of identitarian warring.


McConnell Considers the Next Nuclear Option

Democrats are obstructing judicial nominations by abusing 30 hours of debate. Not for much longer.

For all their talk about bipartisanship and making government work, Democrats have put up one obstacle after another to prevent Republicans from filling important federal court vacancies. And they’re doing it because of (you guessed it) politics. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), for example, refused to work together with Republicans after the midterm elections to fill vacancies. Yet another problem is that any senator can hold up the process and force the Senate to engage in a lengthy debate on each nominee.

But isn’t this just politics as usual — or is there a uniquely concerted effort to block Trump’s court picks?

Just last year, The Heritage Foundation published a report called The Left’s Obstruction of Qualified Trump Nominees is Yet Another Front in the War Against the President. One of the highlights is the stunning figure that in a little more than one year since Trump’s election, the Republican Senate was forced to take 106 cloture votes on executive and judicial nominations. These votes require a 60-vote majority to end debate on a nominee.

Compare this to the past 12 administrations combined during which only 20 of these votes occurred, according to Thomas Kipping of Heritage.

But now, finally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and some of his GOP colleagues have had enough. Their plan is to expand the so-called “nuclear option” so as to greatly reduce the amount of time spent on debating nominees. All they have to do is change the Senate’s rules, which can be accomplished with a simple party-line vote.

Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine write at Politico that the plan would “shave debate time from 30 hours to just two hours for those judges and lower-level executive branch nominees.” They add, “Trump currently has 128 District Court vacancies to fill, and each one can take multiple days under current rules if any senator demands a delay; if Republicans change the rules, Trump could conceivably fill most of those over the next 20 months.”

But the Leftmedia know that the American public has a short memory, and they’re already blaming Republicans for threatening to change the historic traditions of the Senate. Of course, the Democrats had no problem tossing tradition aside when Nevada Senator Harry Reid was the majority leader back in 2013.

As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey writes, “Reid buried the filibuster on all presidential appointments short of the Supreme Court on a rule change passed by simple majority vote, the first time that had ever been done after the start of a session of Congress. Reid and his fellow Democrats ignored the clear historical precedents to claim that they could accomplish this without consulting Republicans.” And Democrats did it after years of sanctimoniously professing their reverence for the filibuster.

There’s always a backstory in politics, and it usually reveals Democrats having already done exactly what they’re criticizing Republicans for thinking about doing. In fact, Sen. McConnell warned Reid and his fellow Democrats about deploying this “nuclear option” back in 2013: “I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this,” he told them. “And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”

If McConnell is going to make that threat a reality, now’s the time. Democrats are demanding the return of “blue slips” in exchange for working with Republicans to fill vacant seats in the judiciary. Once again, it was the Democrats who in 2013 broke with a longstanding Senate tradition of requiring both senators from a judicial nominee’s state to return blue slips indicating a favorable or unfavorable opinion. At the time, Democrats eliminated the slips for lower court nominees and then Republicans did the same last year for Supreme Court nominees. Even The New York Times opposes the practice of blue slips, which can hold up the process if senators refuse to return them.

For those worried about reducing time for debating the worthiness of potential judges, we have to wonder whether 30 hours of partisan squabbling is really needed to confirm these appointments. After all, the nominees are fully vetted after clearing the Judiciary Committee. At that point, senators already know how they’re going to vote and are actually more interested in making bold, dramatic speeches that end up on the evening news instead of engaging in philosophical debates with their colleagues.

Democrats always claim that elections have consequences, but they only honor their words when one of their own sits in the White House. Now that Republicans control the executive branch and the Senate, they need to play hardball. They need to fill those seats now to ensure a properly functioning and more constitutionally conservative judiciary.



‘Self-Sufficiency, Not a Sinkhole’: JOBS Act Updates Work Requirements for Welfare Recipients

Republicans in the House and Senate are making another legislative push to enforce work requirements for able-bodied adults on welfare.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday announced the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services Act.

The JOBS Act comes as the Trump administration makes a renewed push for work requirements for welfare recipients in its fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

The successful 1996 welfare reform law is now broken, Daines said, asserting that states that find loopholes to avoid imposing work requirements undermine the aim of that law.

The 1996 law created the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, to tie work and job-training requirements to welfare payments.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is the largest welfare program in the country, and the Daines proposal would reauthorize and modernize it.

“Our welfare programs should be a springboard to work and self-sufficiency, not a sinkhole into government dependency,” Daines said in a statement. “My bill supports struggling low-income families and equips them with the skills and resources they need to find and keep a job—something that gives them hope, dignity, and a better future.”

Some Democrats and other critics have argued that work requirements can be onerous since welfare recipients are often more vulnerable populations.

In recent years, many states have begun to ignore the work requirements. The new legislation requires each state’s caseworkers to engage with job-seekers to help Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients find jobs and keep them.

The legislation also addresses matters such as mental health issues, as well as drug and alcohol addiction. It also seeks to close the “jobs gap” by connecting employers with potential workers.

The legislation could help lift more Americans out of poverty, said Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James.

“We know the history of government assistance programs. Rather than lift people out of poverty, they have created generational poverty and left millions of Americans perpetually dependent on government,” James said in a statement. “There are few things more debilitating than not being able to provide for oneself and one’s family.

“Assistance programs must help—not harm—the people they are intended to serve,” James said. “It’s time to ensure that people not only get the temporary assistance they need to get through the tough times, but that they also get help with the more permanent solution of finding meaningful work.”

The House version of the legislation is called the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services (JOBS) for Success Act.

According to House Republicans, less than half the total program dollars sent to states go toward supporting work requirements and job training. Instead, many states use the federal funds for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to plug state budget gaps.

The bill would also limit the use of funds dedicated for welfare recipients to those with a monthly income below 200 percent of the poverty level and require states to spend a minimum level of funding on transportation and other work-support services to help more Americans prepare for jobs and keep them.

The federal government would also track states for how many in the caseload find work under the legislation.

The bill also renames Temporary Assistance to Needy Families as Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services.

“Following the GOP tax cuts, our economy continues to soar, with wages rising at their fastest pace in a decade and near 50-year-low unemployment,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee and a co-sponsor of the House version.

“There are a record 7.3 million job openings, and millions of folks on the sidelines who we need—and want—to take part in this expanding economy,” Brady said in a statement. “This proposal builds on that by reforming our nation’s cash-for-work welfare program, refocusing this important program on the outcome of parents getting and keeping a job.”

A 2017 poll found 92 percent of Americans favor work requirements for welfare recipients.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children after the 1996 law. Caseloads, poverty rates, and welfare spending decreased in the near term.

However, by 2000, the trend began to reverse, according to a report released last year by Robert Rector and Vijay Menon of The Heritage Foundation. State welfare bureaucracies lapsed back into check-writing agencies, they wrote, and more than half of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients in the average state is not engaged in any work or job-training program.

President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, released on Monday, would implement a requirement of at least 20 hours a week for work or job training for certain welfare benefits, such as food stamps and assistance with the cost of rents.

A job is the best solution to poverty, said Tim Chapman, executive director of Heritage Action for America, the lobbying arm of The Heritage Foundation.

“Americans in need deserve our best efforts in assisting them,” he said in a statement. “One of the best ways to ensure people receive the help they need is to aid them in finding a job.

“That’s what the JOBS for Success Act accomplishes. It helps provide a permanent solution for Americans struggling to make ends meet. The solution is a job,” Chapman said.



Peter Navarro: President Trump's trade policies make great strides

The U.S. trade deficit for goods hit a record high in 2018, but critics wrongly blame this on a failure of President Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Gross domestic product  growth of 3 percent in 2018, coupled with a rapid rise in real wages and the  lowest unemployment in 50 years, boosted import demand even as slower growth in markets like Europe suppressed U.S. exports. The robust Trump economy is one of the deficit’s biggest drivers.

Meanwhile, Trump trade policies have raised billions of dollars in revenue, encouraged the onshoring of new factories, helped create nearly half a million new manufacturing jobs, and induced a strong revival of our steel and aluminum industries.

The president’s tough trade agenda has also helped bring recalcitrant trading partners to the negotiating table. The newly negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will dramatically boost investment in the U.S. manufacturing sector and likely shrink our deficit with Mexico — which is why Congress must quickly approve it.

The Trump trade team is likewise negotiating dramatic structural changes to China’s mercantilist economy. Proposed reforms include an immediate end to China’s cyber intrusions into our business networks, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, unfair currency practices and excessive subsidies for state-owned enterprises.

Even as President Trump has made these great strides, World Trade Organization rules have hampered additional progress by continuing to allow other countries to charge much higher tariff rates than does the United States. This is simply unfair — and why President Trump urged Congress in his 2019 State of the Union to pass the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act.

President Trump remains fiercely committed to reducing America’s trade deficit, and he will attack the problem on all fronts, including eliminating unfair and nonreciprocal trade practices.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Friday, March 15, 2019

Why the 'excellent' Electoral College is well worth keeping

by Jeff Jacoby

THE FOES of the Electoral College are back in the news.

Late last month, Colorado legislators voted to make their state the 13th (including the District of Columbia) to join the National Popular Vote compact, which is designed to circumvent the Electoral College by having states to cast their electoral votes for the candidate who wins the most popular votes nationwide.

By its terms, the arrangement only takes effect when it has been adopted by enough states to reach 270 electoral votes, the total needed to win the White House. The Colorado bill, which still requires the signature of Governor Jared Polis, brings the number to 181. That would increase to 184 if Delaware joins the compact, as its state senate voted to do last week.

Complaints about the Electoral College are an old story. The National Archives says there have been more than 700 attempts to scrap or modify the Electoral College. None has succeeded, obviously, and it is virtually certain that the popular-vote compact won't either. For one thing, it is unconstitutional — the Electoral College can be changed only by amending the Constitution. Even if that weren't an obstacle, a majority of legislatures will never sign on to a plan designed to undermine their own voters.

The standard indictment against the Electoral College is that it's anti-democratic. It is, of course: The framers of the Constitution devised it deliberately as a check on direct democracy, one of many such checks and balances — think of the power they entrusted to unelected Supreme Court justices, or to a Senate in which states, not people, are equal. Again and again, the Founders went to great lengths to thwart blind majority rule, not wanting important national decisions to be driven by unbridled public emotion, populist demagoguery, or the passions of the mob.

The direct election of the president, argued Elbridge Gerry as the Constitution was being drafted in the summer of 1787, could lead to "radically vicious" outcomes. Hence the interposition of an Electoral College, which ensures that presidents are elected not in one national plebiscite, but through elections within each state to choose electors.

Thanks to the Electoral College, it isn't enough for presidential candidates merely to pile up votes in the few states where they are most popular. In order to win, they must demonstrate appeal across numerous states. And because electoral votes have almost always been awarded on a winner-take-all basis, candidates have a powerful incentive to focus in particular on "swing" states — they work extra-hard to carry states where the public is closely divided, because the reward for doing so is significant.

The ticket that racks up the most votes nationwide nearly always wins a majority of the Electoral College. But twice in the last two decades, the popular-vote winner lost the electoral vote. Both times a Republican ended up in the White House, which explains why so many Democrats are now on the warpath against the Electoral College. All the states that have voted to join the National Popular Vote compact are solid blue states; except for Colorado, none has voted Republican in a presidential election for at least 30 years. Had the compact been in force in recent elections, the candidates those states supported — Al Gore in 2000, Hillary Clinton in 2016 — would have become president. The popular-vote pact would have ratified the choice made by most voters in those states.

But in 2004, when the popular vote was won by George W. Bush, 12 of the states in the compact voted for John Kerry. Enforcing the compact then would have meant overturning the will of the voters in those states. Critics of the Electoral College denounce it as undemocratic — but what could be less democratic than state legislatures deliberately nullifying the choice of a majority of their state's voters?

For a nation like ours — ideologically quarrelsome, geographically vast, socially diverse — the advantages of the Electoral College far outweigh its drawbacks. It guarantees that no one can become president without demonstrating an appeal that crosses state, regional, and communal lines. It makes victory all but impossible for candidates who write off whole constituencies of Americans — Mitt Romney's "47 percent," Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" — even if those candidates are intensely popular in a few specific states or within a few narrow demographic slices. Above all, it balances federalism with democracy: It preserves the central role of the states in American life without sacrificing the principle of one-person, one-vote.

With good reason, Alexander Hamilton pronounced the Electoral College system an "excellent" arrangement. With good reason it has endured for 225 years. Presidents come and presidents go, but the Constitution's system for choosing them is here to stay.



Is Income Inequality Fair?

Walter E. Williams
Some Americans have much higher income and wealth than others. Former President Barack Obama explained, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” An adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has a Twitter account called “Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure” tweeted, “My goal for this year is to get a moderator to ask ‘Is it morally appropriate for anyone to be a billionaire?’” Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in calling for a wealth tax, complained, “The rich and powerful are taking so much for themselves and leaving so little for everyone else.”

These people would have an argument if there were piles of money on the ground called income, with billionaires and millionaires surreptitiously getting to those piles first and taking their unfair shares. In that case, corrective public policy would require a redistribution of the income, wherein the ill-gotten gains of the few would be taken and returned to their rightful owners. The same could be said if there were a dealer of dollars who — because of his being a racist, sexist, multinationalist and maybe a Republican — didn’t deal the dollars fairly. If he dealt millions to some and mere crumbs to others, decent public policy would demand a re-dealing of the dollars, or what some call income redistribution.

You say, “Williams, that’s lunacy.” You’re right. In a free society, people earn income by serving their fellow man. Here’s an example: I mow your lawn, and you pay me $40. Then I go to my grocer and demand two six-packs of beer and 3 pounds of steak. In effect, the grocer says, “Williams, you are asking your fellow man to serve you by giving you beer and steak. What did you do to serve your fellow man?” My response is, “I mowed his lawn.” The grocer says, “Prove it.” That’s when I produce the $40. We can think of the, say, two $20 bills as certificates of performance — proof that I served my fellow man.

A system that requires that one serve his fellow man to have a claim on what he produces is far more moral than a system without such a requirement. For example, Congress can tell me, “Williams, you don’t have to get out in that hot sun to mow a lawn to have a claim on what your fellow man produces. Just vote for me, and through the tax code, I will take some of what your fellow man produces and give it to you.”

Let’s look at a few multibillionaires to see whether they have served their fellow man well. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, with a net worth over $90 billion, is the second-richest person in the world. He didn’t acquire that wealth through violence. Millions of people around the world voluntarily plunked down money to buy Microsoft products. That explains the great wealth of people such as Gates. They discovered what their fellow man wanted and didn’t have, and they found out ways to effectively produce it. Their fellow man voluntarily gave them dollars. If Gates and others had followed President Obama’s advice that “at a certain point” they’d “made enough money” and shut down their companies when they had earned their first billion or two, mankind wouldn’t have most of the technological development we enjoy today.

Take a look at the website Billionaire Mailing List’s list of current billionaires. On it, you will find people who have made great contributions to society. Way down on the list is Gordon Earle Moore — co-founder of Intel. He has a net worth of $6 billion. In 1968, Moore developed and marketed the integrated circuit, or microchip, which is responsible for thousands of today’s innovations, such as MRIs, advances in satellite technology and your desktop computer. Though Moore has benefited immensely from his development and marketing of the microchip, his benefit pales in comparison with how our nation and the world have benefited in terms of lives improved and saved by the host of technological innovations made possible by the microchip.

The only people who benefit from class warfare are politicians and the elite; they get our money and control our lives. Plus, we just might ask ourselves: Where is a society headed that holds its most productive members up to ridicule and scorn and makes mascots out of its least productive and most parasitic members?



SOCIALIST BACKFIRE: New York City On Verge Of Going Bankrupt For First Time In FOUR DECADES

After decades of adopting and implementing socialist policies, New York City is on the verge of going bankrupt for the first time in nearly 40 years.

According to Breitbart, financial experts are predicting — and warning — that there are signs that the city is headed for a financial disaster.

The experts argue that many individuals and businesses leaving the city for lower tax areas coupled with city government spending being at an all-time high is also having a major effect on the Big Apple.

Making matters even worse, the last time New York City almost filed for bankruptcy was in 1975, when former President Gerald Ford was in office and would not give the city a bailout package to settle its massive debt.

Here’s more from the Breitbart report:

“The city is running a deficit and could be in a real difficult spot if we had a recession, or a further flight of individuals because of tax reform,” economist Milton Ezrati told the New York Post. “New York is already in a difficult financial spot, but it would be in an impossible situation if we had any kind of setback.”

The city’s budget deficit has reached an all-time high over the past year. New York City’s long-term liabilities— including pensions, bonded debt, and retirement benefits for city government employees— reached a record-high $257.3 billion, according to an October 2018 Citizens Budget Commission report.

Even though the city’s budget deficit has reached record highs, Mayor Bill de Blasio has shown no signs of curbing the city’s spending.

In fact, de Blasio is adding $3 billion in spending to the current $89.2 billion budget, and spending money at a rate that is three times the rate of inflation, according to the Post.

It also appears that de Blasio will not get help from fellow Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is trying to address a $2.3 billion state budget deficit by using auditors to bill wealthy residents fleeing the state for lower-tax regions.

Cuomo’s preliminary budget proposed $600 million in cuts to money allocated to New York City.

For starters, the Big Apple has been behind Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist “Green New Deal,” which studies reveal could bankrupt the entire nation.

One study revealed that the price tag for socialist measure comes out to $7 trillion, with another finding that it could actually cost nearly $50 trillion, which would be roughly seven times more than the original study.

The same goes for the “Medicare for All,” another socialist idea that NYC has been behind.

A study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that the “Medicare for all” plan would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

While getting “free” Medicare and health benefits sounds appealing, notable socialists fail to mention how taxpayers will be stuck footing the $32.6 trillion bill over 10 years.

A second study from revealed that the “Medicare for All” plan would cost the United States a jaw-dropping $218 trillion over the next 30 years.

All of those socialist policies and agendas sure are expensive, and it could be pushing New York City into a total collapse.



SICK! Nancy Pelosi SCOLDS Americans For Being Against Dem Measure Allowing Illegals Right To Vote

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scolded Americans late last week for being against a Democrat measure that allows illegal aliens the right to vote.

During a press conference in Austin, Texas, Pelosi argued that America must not suppress the vote of newly arrived legal immigrants, including those who arrive in caravans at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pelosi actually appeared to admit that the Democrats overall immigration goal is to ensure millions of new arrivals who come to the U.S. every year are eligible to vote in America’s elections.

“When we talk about newcomers, we have to recognize the constant reinvigoration of America that they are, that we all have been – our families,” Pelosi began.

“And that, unless you’re blessed to be Native American – which is a blessing in itself that we respect – but that constant reinvigoration of hope, determination, optimism, courage, to make the future better for the next generation, those are American traits,” she added.

She continued: “And these newcomers make America more American. And we want them, when they come here, to be fully part of our system. And that means not suppressing the vote of our newcomers to America.”

Did you catch that?

Pelosi argued that immigrants, not American citizens, make the nation “more American.”

She went on to argue that these “newcomers” should be able to participate in voting, which presumably includes the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens and border crossers who arrive at the southern border every year.

“We, in California, see people coming from a different direction, but the same welcome. You see them coming, many from the south, southern border, but should be the same welcome,” Pelosi said.

Her scathing comments came just a few days after she claimed that President Donald Trump being office is like getting kicked by a mule.

While speaking with a local news outlet in Alabama, a reporter asked Pelosi, “Women across the country were traumatized at the loss for Hillary Clinton. Do you remember what that night was like for you personally?”

“It was like getting kicked in the back by a mule constantly,” Pelosi said.

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“It was physical— it was so unbelievable that not only would Hillary Clinton not succeed in winning, but that Donald Trump would be president of the United States,” she added.

Pelosi continued, “I thought that was just impossible to happen. But it did.”

Last week, Pelosi suffered several face spasms and brain glitches when trying to argue that Trump’s national emergency declaration is “unpatriotic.”

Aside from something clearly being wrong with Pelosi, her comments on argument that Trump’s national emergency declaration being unpatriotic will not sit well with many Americans who want the southern border secured.

Pelosi is completely obsessed with the going after the president and will say whatever she can for attention.

And now she’s attacking Americans if they don’t support the Democrats obvious plan to allow more illegals the right to vote.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Media Hostility Could Help Trump Win Reelection

Ronald L. Trowbridge

Numerous high-profile investigations, including new probes just announced by Democrats in the House of Representatives, add to uncertainty about President Trump’s election prospects in 2020. Nevertheless, a strong case can be made that a hostile media environment will actually make the president’s reelection highly likely.

Although I have been a student of politics for decades, having worked for President Reagan and later Chief Justice Warren Burger, I have never seen the intensity of media hostility now directed at President Trump. But not until very recently did I come to the realization that such animosity works very much in the president’s favor.

My epiphany came on February 11, 2019, with President Trump’s campaign rally in El Paso. It was déjà vu all over again: 10,000 supporters, say local authorities, gathered to hear the president. I thought to myself: it’s the same huge, wild, yelling, clapping crowd that attended his campaign rallies in 2016. His poll approvals shot up to 52 percent, having been before El Paso at some 41 percent. It has of late been in the high 40s.

Caitlin Flanagan, a writer for the center-left, cerebral The Atlantic, has written two prescient articles that show that media animosity and myopia against Donald Trump could bring about his reelection. The stronger the resistance, the stronger the resistance to that resistance by a silent majority.

In January, Flanagan published the perceptive article, “The Media Botched the Covington Catholic Story” with the tag line, “And the damage to their credibility will be lasting.” After showing how the media initially falsely reported that a group of MAGA-hat-wearing teenage boys had, for racist reasons, harassed a Native American elder drumming at the Lincoln Memorial, Flanagan concludes the piece by addressing the New York Times:

You were partly responsible for the election of Trump because you are the most influential newspaper in the country, and you are not fair or impartial. Millions of Americans believe you hate them and that you will casually harm them. Two years ago, they fought back against you, and they won.

Then her bombshell: “If Trump wins again, you will once again have played a small but important role in that victory.”

“If Trump wins again” is an explicit comment that the president’s reelection is possible, that the silent majority could rise again. Flanagan had voiced such irony and paradox in her Atlantic piece of May 2017. Her title said it all: “How Late-night Comedy Fueled the Rise of Trump.” She emphasized that “hosts of the late-night shows decided that they had carte blanche to insult not just the people within this administration, but also the ordinary citizens who support Trump.”

Hillary Clinton, two months before the 2016 election, blew herself out of the water by calling these ordinary citizens the “deplorables.” As Mitt Romney can attest, it is political suicide for a candidate to attack voters. Many today continue to attack ordinary people by commanding them to “Take off that MAGA hat!” or claiming “He has a MAGA hat and is therefore racist.”

The word may be spreading that an angry, myopic media can possibly help get Trump reelected. John Diaz, editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote a prescient editorial on January 25, entitled, “Covington Catholic story shows danger of a rush to judgment.” Like Flanagan, Diaz calls out “the danger of a rush to judgment” – an inclination that aids Trump by giving him more “Fake News!” ammunition to shoot on the campaign trail.

Earlier polls showed President Trump’s approval rating at a low 41 percent. But recall that this was roughly his favorable rating when he surprisingly defeated Hillary Clinton. The media is still angry about that one, and they were made to look foolish. But they seem determined to exercise the same animosity and myopia against Trump that he turned into an advantage. Similarly, I have to wonder if, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi are doing Trump a big favor by attempting to pummel him.

If Trump runs in 2020, the election could be a horserace. It is the inchoate, silent (electoral) majority that remains the greatest unknown. In 2016, Democrats, liberals, progressives, the media—all were certain that Hillary Clinton would win. Some even laughed about it in certainty.

We should remember Santayana’s insight: Those who “don’t remember history are condemned to repeat it.” But the hostile media apparently don’t remember history and are at it again.



Trump’s Proposed Foreign Ops Budget Again Targets UN Funding

For the third consecutive year, the Trump administration has proposed a budget that cuts spending on foreign affairs, including funding for the United Nations – but congressional Democrats are unimpressed.

President Trump’s FY 2020 budget proposal seeks $42.803 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, around $726 million more than requested in the 2019 budget, but significantly below what the U.S. Congress approved for 2019, $54.418 billion.

The State/USAID budget for FY 2018 was $56.386 billion and for FY 2017 was $59.752 billion.

The proposal to Congress says the funding requested for the U.N. and other international organizations aims to fully fund “those organizations critical to our national security but makes cuts or reductions to those whose results are unclear, whose work does not directly affect our national security interests, or for which the funding burden is not fairly shared among members.”

“The [State] Department will continue to work with the international organizations including the U.N. to reduce costs, improve effectiveness, and more fairly share the funding burden.”

At the same time, the proposal says the administration is committed to “promoting U.S. leadership in international organizations as a means of countering actions by countries that do not share U.S. national security interests and values.”

--For the “contributions to international organizations” (CIO) account – which goes towards funding the U.N., U.N.-affiliated agencies and other international organizations – the administration is requesting $1.013 billion for FY 2020. (Actual CIO funding in FY 2018 was $1.467 billion and in FY 2017 was $1.359 billion.)

--For the “contributions for international peacekeeping activities” (CIPA) account – which funds U.S. assessed obligations to U.N. peacekeeping operations – the administration is asking for $1.136 billion in FY 2020. (CIPA funding in FY 2018 was $1.381 billion and in FY 2017 was $1.907 billion.)

--For the U.N. regular budget, the administration is requesting $473.7 million for FY 2020. (Actual funding for the U.N. budget in FY 2018 was $609.9 million and in FY 2017 was $593.2 million.)

‘Not the best use of taxpayer dollars’

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) both called the proposal “dead on arrival” in Congress.

“Even though the Administration doesn’t seem to get the message, it bears repeating: at a time when the United States is facing crises across the globe, investing in diplomacy and development advances American interests, values, and security,” said Engel in a statement.

Leahy said the budget was “not worth the paper it is printed on,” and predicted that it will be rejected by Congress.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said he looked forward to reviewing additional details, saying the committee would hold hearings in the coming months and “carefully review the president’s proposal as we work to draft and pass spending bills for FY 2020.”

Briefing at the State Department, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said that “President Trump has made it clear that U.S. foreign assistance should serve America’s national interest and should support those countries that help us to advance our foreign policy goals.”

Doug Pitkin, director of the department’s Bureau of Budget and Planning, said the proposal includes reductions in some programs which the administration “believes are either a lower priority or perhaps are not the best use of taxpayer dollars.”

“An example of that is continuing to request lower amounts for contributions [to] international organizations than Congress has provided, as an effort to try to drive greater burden-sharing among those organizations.”

Pitkin conceded that there will be “back and forth” with lawmakers over the proposed budget, but said that just because Congress has not taken up some of the proposed reductions in recent years “does not change the administration’s position.”


The Better World Campaign (BWC), a group that “works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the U.N.,” criticized the plan, saying it “greatly underfunds the U.N. regular budget and peacekeeping operations.”

“The proposed budget cuts will make it more difficult for the U.N. to help those who need it most around the world,” said BWC president Peter Yeo. “It will undermine ongoing efforts to implement the ambitious reform agenda that the U.S. has championed. And it will also exacerbate the financial crisis at the U.N.”

BWC called on Congress to reject the proposal.

The 193 U.N. member-states’ contributions to the U.N. regular and peacekeeping budgets are assessed according to their “capacity to pay,” a formula based on factors including population size and gross national income.

Under those assessments, U.S. taxpayers are expected to provide 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget and – in 2019 – 27.89 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget.

Legislation signed by President Clinton in 1994 set a 25 percent cap on the U.S. contribution to U.N. peacekeeping, however, and the discrepancy between that cap and the U.N. assessment led to arrears mounting.

Under legislation negotiated in 1999, the U.S. agreed to settle the arrears in return for a U.N. pledge to gradually reduce the assessment, which was then above 30 percent, to 25 percent.

In the meantime, according to the BWC, U.S. arrears stand at around $750 million and, under the FY 2020 proposal, would increase to more than $1 billion next year.



Pelosi Rejects Impeachment ... For Now

She concedes not enough evidence for impeaching Trump, while still leaving the door open.

In a wide-ranging interview published in The Washington Post Magazine, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a statement that appears to be aimed at tamping down all the Democrat rhetoric on wanting to impeach President Donald Trump. “I’m not for impeachment,” Pelosi stated. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

So, what can be made of Pelosi’s statement? Three possibilities, and perhaps a combination of all three.

First, it’s important to note that Pelosi’s statement does not preclude any future impeachment attempts. Instead, she has simply conceded that Democrats do not presently have enough political capital to instigate impeachment proceedings. In other words, Pelosi recognizes that as things currently stand, an attempt at impeachment would be more politically damaging for Democrats than for President Donald Trump. And practically speaking, with the Senate under GOP control, an impeachment attempt without any real evidence would only push Republicans to further coalesce behind Trump. To put it bluntly, Pelosi knows it would be a politically damaging effort in futility.

Second, Pelosi may have deduced something about or even been privy to Robert Mueller’s forthcoming report. If, as we have long speculated, the report finds no evidence of any Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy, Pelosi will need to have her party repositioned in such a fashion as to avoid appearing to have invested any real political capital in Mueller’s findings. By downplaying the impeachment mantra that has been entirely linked to Russian collusion, Pelosi is attempting to pull back and make Democrats look the part of objectively minded statesmen, not the politically invested hacks they are.

Finally, Pelosi is flexing her intra-party authority over the young and popular upstarts within her own party. By publicly speaking out to a prominent Leftmedia outlet, Pelosi is communicating to her young leftist firebrands that whatever their rhetoric may be, she will be the one to decide what if any action will be taken on impeachment, not them. And no action will be taken — yet. Of course, that will all change if House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler’s fishing expedition turns up anything.



AOC Hates the USA
According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 51% of voters agree with this statement: “Right now we have people in Congress who hate our country.” Only 34% disagree, and 15% aren’t sure. But that a majority of voters, and perhaps as many as two-thirds of voters, feel that way should be cause for alarm.

You don’t have to look far to find politicians who are hostile to America. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC as she is often referred to) went on quite a tirade this weekend at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas.

Borrowing from Hillary, AOC blasted capitalism as “irredeemable.” If she likes socialism and taxes so much, she should start by paying her own!

She attacked Ronald Reagan as a racist for wanting to reform welfare. And she trashed America as “garbage,” saying that her ideas shouldn’t be seen as radical because America needs to be fundamentally transformed. She said:

“I think all of these things sound radical compared to where we are. But where we are is not a good thing. And this idea of like, ten percent better than garbage, it shouldn’t be what we settle for.”

Yes, her remarks are outrageous. But don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s just her. AOC is reflecting the kind of American history that has been taught in our schools for the last 30 years, which is all too often anti-American history.

Ocasio-Cortez is just the first of many leaders now rising out of that generation with the same worldview. I have commented many times on the fact that the Millennial generation is the least patriotic in history. That didn’t happen by accident.

Given her views about capitalism and America, I’m not surprised Ocasio-Cortez attacked Reagan; he loved this country and he cherished freedom.

Sadly, Reagan is often just a footnote in our textbooks. Or he is portrayed as presiding over an “era of greed” and criticized for employing racist tactics.

In reality, he presided over an era of tremendous growth, defeated the Soviet Union and was reelected in one of the greatest landslides in American history. He left office with a 63% approval rating — all before AOC was even born!

I could just imagine what Reagan’s reaction would be to Ocasio-Cortez’s criticism. As he once said, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”



Mumps, other outbreaks force U.S. detention centers to quarantine over 2,000 migrants

The number of people amassed in immigration detention under the Trump administration has reached record highs, raising concerns among migrant advocates about disease outbreaks and resulting quarantines that limit access to legal services.

As of March 6, more than 50,000 migrants were in detention, according to ICE data.

Internal emails reviewed by Reuters reveal the complications of managing outbreaks like the one at Pine Prairie, since immigrant detainees often are transferred around the country and infected people do not necessarily show symptoms of viral diseases even when they are contagious.

Mumps can easily spread through droplets of saliva in the air, especially in close quarters. While most people recover within a few weeks, complications include brain swelling, sterility and hearing loss.

ICE health officials have been notified of 236 confirmed or probable cases of mumps among detainees in 51 facilities in the past 12 months, compared to no cases detected between January 2016 and February 2018. Last year, 423 detainees were determined to have influenza and 461 to have chicken pox. All three diseases are largely preventable by vaccine.

As of March 7, a total of 2,287 detainees were quarantined around the country, ICE spokesman Brendan Raedy told Reuters.

More HERE 


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)